Category Archives: Southend-on-Sea

Nigel Basham (Mark Loyd of the Monotones)

Westcliff High School for Boys circa 1958: Nigel Basham, Arthur Walker, Martin Bayley, Chris Winch, Selwyn, Ian Crawshaw.
Westcliff High School for Boys circa 1958. Nigel Basham is third from the left, with Arthur Walker on Nigel’s right doing the V-sign. Others in the group include Martin Bayley, Chris Winch, Selwyn, and seated, smoking, Ian Crawshaw.

Tim Wainwright sent in this photo of Nigel Basham with school friends at at Westcliff High School for Boys, circa 1958. Not bad quality from a worn 3″ x 2″ print. Tim wrote the caption above and adds, “the pic is a group from the school having a smoke by the bike sheds, totally against school rules.”

Nigel Basham was part of the Monotones, covered extensively on this site in a main post and a second focused on photos of their early days. In the Monotones, Nigel took the professional name of Mark Loyd, sometimes spelled Mark Lloyd.

As Mark Loyd, he released three singles on Parlophone, timeless British soul music that is highly valued now. Mark Loyd passed away on April 4, 2012 in Sydney, Australia, where he ran a successful event and performance management company called Popset.


The Monotones – early years 1960-1962

The Monotones’ first rhythm guitarist Ian Middlemiss sent these photos and clippings of his time in the band from 1958-1962.

The photo captions are by Ian:

Earliest photo of the Monotones at St Cedds Church gig early in 1960 From left: Pete Stanley, Brian Alexander, Ian Middlemiss, Nigel Basham, and Barry Davis
Earliest photo of the Monotones at St Cedds Church gig early in 1960
From left: Pete Stanley, Brian Alexander, Ian Middlemiss, Nigel Basham, and Barry Davis
Ian Middlemiss with a Hofner Club 50 (?), never stayed in tune for more than 10 mins. June 1960, venue cannot remember
Ian Middlemiss with a Hofner Club 50 (?), never stayed in tune for more than 10 mins. June 1960, venue cannot remember
A clip from the local paper, gig at St Cedds in May 1961
A clip from the local paper, gig at St Cedds in May 1961
St Cedds May '61. Clearly this is in open E. Middlemiss has got a Strat copy, Alexander exploring the possibilities of the Mixolydian mode in position 1? This I doubt. Alexander's thrashing about trying to find notes that roughly match the melody.
St Cedds May ’61. Clearly this is in open E. Middlemiss has got a Strat copy, Alexander exploring the possibilities of the Mixolydian mode in position 1? This I doubt. Alexander’s thrashing about trying to find notes that roughly match the melody.
April 1962, from left: Jim Eaton, Barry Davis, Paul Dunning, Brian Alexander and Ian Middlemiss. Stanley got fed up and had a six month sabbatical. He did come back eventually.
April 1962, from left: Jim Eaton, Barry Davis, Paul Dunning, Brian Alexander and Ian Middlemiss. Stanley got fed up and had a six month sabbatical. He did come back eventually.
From left: Nigel Basham, Barry Davis, Paul Dunning, Brian Alexander and Ian Middlemiss. A half decent shot of Stanley's bass made by his Dad. Basham and Eaton shared the vocals or should I say Mark Lloyd and Thurston Crane (tee-hee). In 1962 to sing vocals you had to wear a suit and tie and pretend that you were a gentleman.
From left: Nigel Basham, Barry Davis, Paul Dunning, Brian Alexander and Ian Middlemiss. A half decent shot of Stanley’s bass made by his Dad. Basham and Eaton shared the vocals or should I say Mark Lloyd and Thurston Crane (tee-hee). In 1962 to sing vocals you had to wear a suit and tie and pretend that you were a gentleman.
Monotones early gig notices White Hall, Westcliff; Essex Bowling Club, Wentworth Youth Centre
200 people at 2/6 a pop = £50 divided by 5 = £10 per member which is more than a 1960s weekly wage. Remember most of us were at WHSB and you get a 5 gallons of petrol for £1, pie and chips for 1/6d and get trousered for £2. No small wonder that Brian A. hired the White Hall for our debut performance. The downside of the White Hall was that they had no alcohol license.
Brian hired the dance hall at the Elms which was much bigger (300). An immediate success but the manager saw the potential and in the end got the beer money and the gate. We were not too bothered, the ladies were more important.
Monotones early gig notices, Middleton Hotel, St. Cedds, Castle Hotel Thorpe Bay
Who were the Strangers, Ebonies and O B Swing 5?

Mark Lloyd and the Monotones early gig cards, Leigh Wesley Youth Club, Cricketers Inn, Elms Hotel

The Monotones and the Treetops

The Monotones in Holland, 1964: Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols, Jim Eaton and Pete Stanley
The Monotones in Holland, 1964
from left: Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols, Jim Eaton and Pete Stanley

If you’ve ever seen the 1964 documentary Seven Up you may have wondered what song the kids are dancing to during the party scene towards the end of the film. I learned from my friend Michael Lynch that the song was “What Would I Do” by the Monotones, a group from Southend-on Sea in Essex, about 45 miles directly east of London.

Monotones Pye 45 What Would I Do

Mark Lloyd and Jim Eaton singing the Everly's
Mark Lloyd and Jim Eaton singing the Everly’s
“What Would I Do” was the first of four singles they released on Pye in ’64 and ’65. To say this song has charm would be an understatement, even more so if you’ve seen Seven Up. The bridge is especially fine, with tremolo guitar behind the vocals “if I say that I love you, and you know that it’s true …”

The band gives a sharp performance on the flip, “Is It Right” though the song is less distinctive than the top side. Both songs on their first 45 were written by ‘Stanley Alexander’, actually Brian Alexander and Stanley Peter Frederick according to the BMI database. I didn’t know anything else about the band until Phil T. contacted me with the newspaper clipping and the following info:

During their early years, the group line-up changed many times but by 1964, it comprised Brian Alexander (lead), Jim Eaton (vocals and rhythm), Pete Stanley (bass) and Gary Nichols (drums) and I believe that it was these four who made the recordings. Their original vocalist, Nigel Basham also performed separately under the name Mark Loyd and was backed from time to time at local gigs by another Southend band, The Mustangs, who also originated at Westcliff High.

Sadly, I understand that The Monotones’ drummer, Gary Nichols, died in April 2007.

Photos of the band’s early years sent to me by guitarist Ian Middlemiss can be seen on this separate page.

Much more information about the band came when Jim Eaton and Peter Stanley left detailed comments about the band. To read the full history of the group and it’s change to the Treetops, read through the comments below. Jim also sent the photos seen here with this comment:

I have attached some photos of The Monotones in the early sixties and also some of The Treetops (our new name when we joined Mecca at the Wimbledon Tiffanys). You will note we added a female to our lineup, a great vocalist Martha Smith. We cut several records as The Treetops when the lineup comprised Brian Alexander (lead guitar and backing vocals), Jim Eaton (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Pete Stanley (bass guitar and backing vocals), Mark Lloyd (lead vocals, vibes and harmonica), Martha Smith (lead vocals and piano) and Pete Trout our very fine drummer.

In the article about the band for The Southend Standard Jim Eaton also noted their appearance on Ready Steady Go, Thank Your Lucky Stars and Juke Box Jury, clips I’d love to see if they still survive.

The Monotones, 1962
The Monotones, 1962

Monotones Hickory 45 When Will I Be LovedThe Monotones had two U.S. releases on the Hickory label, one of which, “When Will I Be Loved” / “If You Can’t Give Me All” was not released in the UK. It turns out to be a demo recorded before their first Pye 45, released in the U.S. without the group’s knowledge!

Monotones Hickory 45 If You Can't Give Me AllJim Eaton recently heard these songs again for the first time in about 47 years! He wrote to me:

I received and played the record yesterday and it is definitely us. I now recall cutting both sides as a demo in 1963 at the Regent Sound Studio in London’s famous Denmark St. (also known as Tin Pan Alley due to the large number of studios, record publishers and musical instrument shops.)

Monotones 45 releases:

UK:
Pye 7N 15608 – What Would I Do / Is It Right (February 14, 1964)
Pye 7N 15640 – It’s Great / Anymore (1964)
Pye 7N 15761 – No Waiting / Like A Lover Should (1965)
Pye 7N 15814 – Something’s Hurting Me / A Girl Like That (1965)

US:
Hickory 1250 – What Would I Do / Is It Right
Hickory 1306 – When Will I Be Loved / If You Can’t Give Me All

Monotones promo photo for "Now Waiting", from left: Jim Eaton, Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
Promo shot for “Now Waiting”, from left: Jim Eaton, Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
Mark Loyd backed by the Monotones with session musicians:

Parlophone R 5277 -I Keep Thinking About You / Will It Be the Same (1965)
Parlophone R 5332 – Everybody Tries / She Said No (1965)
Parlophone R 5423 – When Evening Falls / When I’m Gonna Find Her (March 1966)

Note that all his solo releases spell his last name “Loyd”

Treetops 45 releases:

Parlophone R 5628 – Don’t Worry Baby / I Remember (1967 – also released in the U.S. on Tower 388)
Parlophone R 5669 – California My Way / Carry On Living (Feb. 1968)

Columbia DB 8727 – Mississippi Valley / Man Is a Man (1970)
Columbia DB 8799 – Without the One You Love / So Here I Go Again (1971)
Columbia DB 8934 – Why Not Tonite / Funky Flop-Out (Oct. 13, 1972)
Columbia DB 9013 – Gypsy / Life Is Getting Better (Aug 3, 1973)

Mark Lloyd, 1964
Mark Loyd, 1964
Postscript, February 2011:

Jim Eaton: “I have just returned from Australia where I caught up with Mark Loyd who was for many years part of The Monotones before he pursued a solo career.

Update, April, 2012

I’m sorry to report that Mark Loyd (born Nigel Basham), the lead singer with the Monotones and Treetops passed away on April 4, 2012, after fighting cancer for seven years. Mark had been living in Sydney, Australia where he ran a successful event/management company. My condolences to his family, friends, and band mates.

Thanks to Phil for sending in the article from The Southend Standard, January 2006 and to Jim Eaton for his help with songs, photos and information for this page.

The Monotones at the Elms, 1964: Pete Stanley, Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton and Gary Nichols
The Monotones at the Elms, 1964
from left: Pete Stanley, Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton and Gary Nichols

Monotones Hickory 45 What Would I Do

Monotones at The Elms, l-r: Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
At The Elms, l-r: Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
The Treetops, 1966
The Treetops, 1966
The Treetops, 1967
The Treetops, 1967
The Treetops promo for "Don't Worry Baby"
The Treetops promo for “Don’t Worry Baby”
The Treetops, 1968
The Treetops, 1968